We’ve talked about him a lot lately but so we should! Funky Trunks sponsored swimmer Jacob Whittle loves drag racing and clearly loves going even faster in the pool after his performance at the British Championships. The 14 year old (who turns 15 in September) swam an incredible 50.37 and a 23.63 in his 100m and 50m freestyle breaking his own British Age Records. That’s faster than the current 100m freestyle Olympic Champion, Australian Kyle Chalmers swam when he was a 14 year old giant in 2013 (he posted a 50.86). That puts Jacob as the fastest 14 year old ever over the 100m freestyle and although he’s got a long way to go before the real comparisons can start with the big guns of today, he’s certainly on the right track.
Training with Jamie Main at Derventio Excel, Jacob has been named on the British 2019 European Junior Championships team and is taking his progression one step at a time. Joining him on the team will Funky Trunks and Funkita sponsored swimmers Archie Goodburn, Mia Slevin, Sophie Freeman, Maisie Elliot, Pia Murray, Freya Colbert and Honey Osrin.
British swimming royalty and Funkita swimmer Aimee Willmott (who just qualified for her third World Championships) caught up with J the Jet Whittle after his magic swim.
What’s your favourite distance?
The 100 is one of the favourites because I seem to get into more of a rhythm and also I have great pace to go out but still have the strong back end. However the 200 is still a close contender.
What was going through your head before the 100 freestyle final at British Champs?
Before the 100 I was not particularly worrying or thinking much because Jamie (coach) is outstanding at keeping me calm and he was also great at showing me that at this meet I had nothing to lose. I did an amazing swim in the morning and I was very pleased with what I did so I had relaxed mindset going into the final.
Did you have the British record in mind before the swim?
Normally before my races I don’t try to put much stress on the records. I just aim for the best possible swim that I can do and I never particularly know what the records are until I actually beat the time.
What meal did you eat the night before your 100 Freestyle?
The night before my 100 freestyle I had a ham and mustard sandwich and I also had a long lie down on the bed with some music on to stay relaxed.
What was it like having Funkita F-Teamer and Derventio teammate Mia Slevin there throughout the week?
Mia is one of the best training partners that I can ask for! She drives me through some very intense sets and we will always have a laugh. It’s so good to have a person who will always be there to help me and it’s always great to help her push through the sets.
Do you have any pre-race rituals or lucky charms?
Usually I just have a conversation with some of the people in my heat or final. It seems to calm me down, however once on the block I smash my foot on the wedge normally to prep me for my race.
What are your long term swimming goals?
Most of the time I concentrate on the season to come and go for the short term things.
What do you enjoy doing away from the pool, any hobbies?
I like to go to Santa Pod which is a drag racing strip. I like gardening and cars.
Who’s your biggest swimming inspiration?
My main inspirations are the guys around me in Derventio, however, Michael Phelps is a guy that is amazing in my mind.
What’s your favourite pair of Funky Trunks right now?
My favourite trunks are Palm Drive.
What’s the hardest training session you’ve ever done?
The hardest session I have ever done is 100x100s as 10 free, 10 back
What’s your favourite type of session?
My favourite session is a 50’s session for example we used to do a 40×50 fpp set every week and I used to really enjoy it. I like the feeling of being able to go for it and then know that you can finish when you get to the wall.
What’s it like swimming under Coach Jamie Main?
Jamie does an amazing job. He knows loads about the sport and he knows what is right for every different swimmer. We have loads of fun whilst making the time count when it matters. I couldn’t ask for anything more off of him.
Do you have any nicknames?
Most of my squad call me J but articles seem to like calling me ‘J the Jet Whittle’
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